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Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Part 2: Darlin' Prince

prince.jpg I never heard of Prince before 1982. Apparently he put out three albums before 1999 hit the charts and the man with the royal name became all the rage. To clarify, 1999 came out in 1982. Prince was obviously a man ahead of his time. He knew all about that Y2K bug before anyone else. He even sang about it: ícuz they say two thousand zero zero party over, Oops out of time So tonight Iím gonna party like itís 1999 Nevermind that the best song on the album was Let's Pretend We're Married, all you heard on the radio was 1999 and Little Red Corvette. Over and over and over. And just when you finally got that damn armageddon song out of your mind, it was really 1999 and it was back all over the radio again and everyone was partying like hell would freeze over when the year ended. And then 1999 came and went, and it was evident we were still partying and not out of time at all. Song over. Thank you. I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's take a trip back to 1984. Come on, you know you saw it. In the theater. You paid money, yes you did. Maybe you even wore purple and knew all the words and felt Prince's pain when he was left standing in the Purple Rain. I know I did. I had the purple vinyl picture disc 45 of When Doves Cry and the purple vinyl version of the soundtrack. Once again, Prince was ahead of his time. With his shorthand spelling (I Would Die 4 U, I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow), Prince foresaw the introduction of America Online Instant Messaging and a million kids were already well-versed in AIM-speak way before it became the first language for millions of illiterate middle schoolers. And that was it. Anything and everything that followed Purple Rain can be found in the cut-out bin at a Sam Goody near you. Or you can buy them for 99 cents at your local CD swapping emporium. Did you know that if you rearrange the words The Artist Formerly Known as Prince you get No first-rate workmanship recently? Coincidence? I think not. Ah, but Prince is sort of making the rounds again. The Foo Fighters have covered the glam star/Jehova's Witness's ode to random sex with strangers, Darling Nikki. It's awesome. Go download it. And the moral of this story is, Dave Grohl rocks my world.

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Comments

I moved to Minneapolis from Atlanta the DAY Purple Rain came out.

I could live my entire life without hearing any of it ever again.

I had the Purple Rain soundtrack (tape, not vinyl), and "Darling Nikki" is the one song I can still hear in my head. I always wondered, though: which magazine was she ... umm ... using?

I also love Dave Grohl. And I don't say that lightly, being a white heterosexual male with strong homophobic tendencies.

Let it be known here and now that I never saw Purple Rain at the movie theatre and I was totally immune to the whole Prince phenomenon. Of course, I was to fall victim to the Police "Synchronicity" phenomenon, so I'm not totally without my 80s skeletons.

Sweet -- Dave Grohl and TAFKAP... man, I kept wondering when those two crazy kids would get together!

I'd insert some leetle joke here about it not lasting 'everlong' because Dave would just look zombie-ish decked out in purple togs... but hell, it's been twenty years. 'Da Artist' probably would, too. Maybe those 2 can make it work, after all.

I had never actually seen the movie until about 4 years ago. Still not sure about it.
Darlin Nkini, then and the new version bothe very good. :)

Michele,

I'm not one to engage in public arguments about Prince (much) but the best song on "1999" is obviously "Lady Cab Driver."

And you overlooked "Sign O' the Times" completely, which is not only Prince's best albums, it's one of the best albums ever. Usually, double albums suck and I can only think of "Sign O' the Times" and "Exile on Main Street" that are worthwhile all the way through.

You're right, Michele...after Purple Rain, it's been downhill with virtually nothing good emerging from Prince. Except maybe some of the songs that he did for the 1989 "Batman" movie.

I'm sorry, but you have to admit Prince made some of the best "make out" music ever!

Nothing good after Purple Rain? Uh, Sign of the Times, anyone? Nobody since then has put out a double album with as much range - you almost get whiplash going from "Starfish and Coffee'' to "If I Was Your Girlfriend" - as Prince did on that album. Nobody.

And I concur: Dave Grohl is the shit. The set that Foo Fighters did at the Grammys with Chick Corea was awesome.

Can you imagine the wreckage that Prince will cause in that ballroom during his Hall of Fame performance? He's going to absolutely demolish the room.

Ehhhh. It's okay. I liked their cover of "Baker Street" better. Although I do like the way Grohl hits the "r" in "masturbatin'."

I'm a huge Prince fan. "Nothing Compares 2 U" is a wicked track, "Kiss" is one the funkiest songs of all time and "Erotic City" stands out as his most underrated song ever.

I have always liked Prince, especially his stuff with the Revolution. Much of the NPG stuff was a bit twee. He is certainly put out consistently better stuff that "Fingers" Jackson. For the most part Purple Rain and his stuff before that is his best stuff.

My ever wonderful kid sister took me to see him during the 1999 tour at Radio City.
He was awesome.
I agree with everyone else, he peaked with Purple Rain.

still haven't seen the movie, I hate Dave Grohl and I will never, ever, ever forgive Prince (even though he didn't do anything....) for being the reason Tipper started the PMRC and fucked the heavy metal scene so badly. W.A.S.P. probably won't, either.